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Lost and aground

NOV. 18 -- Police rescued a Florida man Wednesday morning after his 30-foot sailboat ran aground off Fire Island, N.Y.

Jack Thomas, who is 79 and from Walton Beach, Fla., was reportedly sailing home from Block Island, R.I., when he became lost and his boat, Tiger Moth, became stuck in the sand in breakers near Moriches Inlet. Alone on the boat, Thomas radioed the Coast Guard at about 6 a.m. for help.

Because Thomas didn’t know his location and doesn’t have an EPIRB, Coast Guard authorities were unable to locate the boat, news reports say. The Coast Guard contacted Suffolk County Police’s aviation unit for help.

At about 7:30 a.m., two officers and a paramedic aboard a helicopter spotted Thomas and landed nearby, reports say. The officers waded through the water to get to the boat, and carried Thomas to shore where they airlifted him to a local hospital. While on the boat, which was being pounded by waves, Thomas apparently suffered broken ribs and head injuries. Thomas was treated at the hospital and released.

— Jason Fell